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Cats, Art and the Internet.

After writing over 110 blog posts about what is going on around Frederick, what is going on in the book arts world, and other aspects of books stuff, I would like to talk today about cats.

I don't know about any of you, but quarantine (and everything else this year) was a little easier thanks to my cat. She is a fussy, old, black-and-white feline with a wicked sense of humor and who loves to watch hockey on the tv (she has a knack for coming in just as those games start and placing herself front-and-center on the couch to watch tv). My spouse and I called her Clem, short for Clemens (or Clementine, take your pick) since we had lost an older cat called Twain a few years before (you know, Mark Twain - Samuel Clemens - did I spell that right?)

Cats and Art have interacted for as long as we can remember. From cave paintings to silkscreen prints, cats rule. I mean, there are cats everywhere in Art. My kids had a cat from Maryland's Eastern Shore who looks like one from a painting from the 1600s! She could be a descendant of that same cat! And, of course, cats rule the internet.

How far can you go on social media, looking through memes, or electronic cards, or emails with friends and family, before you hit a cat picture?

I thought I would share a funny story with you all. I was a professional photographer for years (Think urban city scenes instead of Wedding Photos). I used to have a blog about it too, but I made the "mistake" one day of mentioning my cats -okay, I was stuck for a blog subject that day. In those days, in the 1990-2000s decades, I had my spouse and two kids at home (Spoiler: YAH, kids grew up and left home). I also had (at that time) seven cats in our house. Technically, my spouse had one, I had one, and each kids had two - the one left over was "the family cat". I called them the Seven Silent Muses.

After some encouragement, I put up pictures of the Seven Silent Muses, and I was not prepared for the response...everyone wanted to know about the cats (not my artsy photos of cities or landscapes). Figures. Actually, after all this time, I can honestly say, a lot of my photography business income came from those cat photos.

I know a lot of artists can relate to this story. I personally "stalk" Karen Hanmer's silver cat online.

So here are some of my Muses:

Linc (short for Lincoln -tall and lanky). If you ask my kids, he is named for the video character...

And Linc ...again...

And Sasha (sadly no longer with us)

And for Clem, well, she just ended up in my printmaking (did I mention pets are great inspiration for any art?) Yes, this was a linocut print for a early class I was part, student art...

I challenge each of you to find somewhere on the Internet that cats don't rule (besides dog pages)...Not so far from Ancient Egypt now, are we?

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